23rd October 2018

Is it time you ‘fitness tested’ your recruitment back office?


It’s official: recruiters are among the least fit professionals in any sector! A new study looking at how often people exercise put recruitment agency workers near the bottom, clocking up just one hour and 13 minutes of physical activity each day – compared to almost three hours for agricultural and IT personnel.
But it might not just be your personal health regime that needs an overhaul. Many recruitment agencies have taken an eye of their business fitness too, with administrative processes using up more time and resources than necessary. If you’re concerned that a ‘back office boot camp’ may be in order, ask yourself these questions to fitness-test your agency operations…

What percentage of our time is spent on admin?

The simplest way to assess whether you’ve got the balance right is to look at how much time is taken up by administration each week, and how much is spent nurturing client and contractor relationships.
If your staff keep timesheets, run a quick analysis on which tasks make up the bulk of their workload – if it’s basic back office jobs such as correcting and processing timesheets, managing expense claims, processing invoices and chasing outstanding paperwork, then you’re not working as efficiently as possible.
In a super-fit recruitment agency, these admin jobs should tick over in the background, while your personnel are busy on the phone or in face-to-face meetings. You need to look for operational tech that automates day-to-day tasks, so your team can focus on relationship building.

How accurate is the paperwork we get from our temps and contractors?

Another test of your back-office fitness is how burdensome the process of dealing with temp and contractor paperwork is to your business.
If your temporary and contract staff are sending over timesheets in multiple formats and layouts – including online and paper – that your workforce are having to manually check and send, this can seriously slow down the invoicing process.
Instead, your business needs to be moving towards a digital platform that can convert information in any format into one set of data. This technology should be able to set formatting rules, so that no more manual updates are required to override employee mistakes and make the maths work.

How quickly do we get paid by our clients?

Cash flow is critical to any business, and all too often recruitment agencies face a backlog of unpaid invoices simply because they cannot get the paperwork processed in a timely manner.
Look back over your last three months’ worth of invoices and see how long it took them to go out, and how many of them were paid on time. If it’s taking forever to get timesheets inputted and invoices sent to your clients it can be damaging to your business finances – especially if they then end up being paid late.
Investing in back office automation technology can take way the pain, as the leading operational solutions can convert information into invoices in under two minutes. Not only that, the platform will automatically chase outstanding payments, saving time and effort for your team.

Are business development activities always being saved for a rainy day?

While you may not notice the day-to-day strain that an inefficient back office puts on your agency, the weight of an unfit operational set-up may be getting in the way of your ‘bigger picture’ plans. How many business development projects have been put on the backburner this year because your staff are tied-up with daily tasks?
With the right recruitment back office solution, your agency operations can run a lot quicker and leaner, meaning they demand less attention during the working week. And with more time on your hands, your staff can focus on activities that drive your business forward – instead of running just to stand still.
Make sure your agency is fighting fit with ETZ’s market-leading recruitment back-office technology. Book a demonstration to see how we can dramatically reduce the burden of admin on your business.

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